It is with great rejoicing that Archbishop Russell McClanahan was welcomed back as one of the sitting Archbishops in the CEEC's International House of Bishops.
In the 2019 October Synod a motion for Russ’ return to the IHOB and CEEC was made by Archbishop David Carr from the United Kingdom and the Bishop of the Order of Saint Leonard the motion was seconded by Archbishop Daniel Zopoula of Canada. The other Archbishops voted by joyful acclamation. It is important to note that Russ served as David Carr’s and Charles Travis’ chief consecrator as well as Wayne Boosahda’s and Daniel Zopoula’s co-consecrator in the history of our Communion.
We are blessed to have Russ, as well as the Bishops, priests, deacons, and faithful baptized he represents in full communion with the CEEC.
Archbishop Russ was originally elected a bishop by the founding leadership of the Evangelical Episcopal Church International, to be its first Bishop in historic Apostolic succession. He was consecrated on October 3, 1995 by the Right Reverend Michael Owen (Chief Consecrator), The Most Reverend Owen Augustine, and The Most Reverend Daniel C. Gincig at Hylton Memorial Chapel in Fredericksburg, VA.
In October, 1995 Bishop Michael Owen was received in the Evangelical Episcopal Church International and on December 1st, 1995 was elected as Presiding Bishop. Within a year, Wayne Boosahda was consecrated a Bishop, and Bishop Russ McClanahan became the 2nd Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Episcopal Church International.
Due to its international growth and development, the EECI was restructured and the name was changed to The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches with Robert Wise being consecrated into the newly formed CEEC. In 1999, Bishop Russ McClanahan was elected Archbishop of the Province of St. Peter within the Communion and in 2003 became its 3rd Presiding Bishop (following Bishops Michael Owen and Wayne Boosahda).
Over the next 12 years The Province of St. Peter found great favor from the hand of God in seeing growth and expansion around the world. On five different continents, churches were either planted or found their home within the Province of St. Peter. New Bishops were consecrated that included Dr. Don Jones, Dr. Bruce Wright, Kevin Higgins, James Hampton, Rex Harmon (Australia), Joseph Weswa, Dan Masake, Jackson Ongonga, &Edward Telewa (Kenya). It was also during this period that a new conviction gripped the hearts of those in the Province concerning the need for racial reconciliation and experiencing the reality of the justice of God throughout the nations. Leaders in the African-American Church such as Dr. Henry Roberts, Dr. Sterling Lands II and Dr. Robert Wilson each became Archbishops within the Province. They in turn had raised up men and women under their leadership who had a burning desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Together they have become passionate about not only drawing the best from the great traditions of the church but also that we are truly one in Christ and long to see the fullness of that reality manifest in the church and the world.
In the winter of 2015, the Archbishop’s Council of the Province of St. Peter unanimously decided to discontinue its relationship of full communion with the CEEC due to functional and philosophical changes that were being discussed concerning the authority of the Provinces within the CEEC. On January 10, 2016, the Province came under the corporation of the Evangelical Episcopal Communion, thus reflecting a return to the original vision of the Evangelical Episcopal Church. During the Synod meeting of January 2016, Reinhard C. Shekar of India was received as the Archbishop in India where he oversees over 1,500 local churches.
In March of 2018 the Province of South Africa, led by Archbishop Lazarus Selahle, was received into full Communion with the EEC and Bishop Owen McGregor was consecrated an Archbishop. Other South African Bishops include Steve Sebastiao, Sello Digolo Hammanskraal and Johanaes Tause.
Currently there are new Diocese being developed in Malaysia and the Bahamas.
In the October 2019 Synod, the IHOB reaffirmed the CEEC is a Communion and not a Denomination, each Jurisdiction that has a seat in the International House of Bishops is a separate, corporate and legal entity in keeping with the respected laws in those places they minister and maintain their own Cannons adapted to the needs of their jurisdiction while maintaining the apostolic succession and tradition and ordering their common life.
We are pleased to announce that because the IHOB of the CEEC has been able to reaffirm the original vision and governance of the Communion in a way that makes it possible for the EEC to remain as an autocephalous communion (jurisdiction with provincial status) while having a jurisdictional seat in the IHOB in the CEEC, Archbishop McClanahan has been seated and is now a member of the IHOB of the CEEC while remaining Presiding Bishop of The EEC.
On October 8th, 2019 Archbishop Quintin Moore the CEEC's current Presiding Bishop, as well as the Presiding Bishop of Province USA along with the Archbishops of the IHOB gathered in Synod, welcomed Archbishop Russ and those he represents back into the CEEC after his affirmation of the Communion’s Instruments of Unity. This decision was also affirmed by the Archbishops Council of the EEC. We look forward to many years of fruitful ministry together and we are humbled and grateful for these servants of the Lord and this reunion.